Back in the good old days, when the newspaper still carried more than six help wanted ads, my husband and I had a Sunday morning tradition of reading the technology section out loud, with an eye toward mocking the ones obviously written by IT-clueless human resources people.
You know the ads I'm talking about: They're often for something like a business analyst, net admin or Web programmer, but they include a hodgepodge of requirements that made you wonder if this person would singlehandedly be doing everything in the IT department. Usually it went something like this:
Wanted: IT professional with 10 or more years of experience programming in COBOL, Java, C++, .Net, HTML, PHP, PERL, Adobe (whatever that means), Palm OS or LegoScript, and Unix. Five plus years experience in network security, Cisco, SQL and Oracle. Must be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel. Black belt in Six Sigma or TQM experience. Web design a plus. Preference given to candidates with MBA or engineers. Pay scale $36,000 to $40,000.
I'd read it aloud and we'd laugh and laugh.
After seeing that IT Business Edge had posted a sample SOA enterprise architect job description (salary: $55,000 to $63,000-'nuff said), I spent about 15 scanning Monster.com's EA classifieds, just to get an idea of what companies are asking for these days. Based on my totally unscientific survey, I surmised that:
I've been thinking about the enterprise architect job since last week, when I did a podcast with David Linthicum, who blogs about SOA for InfoWorld. Since I'm definitely not trying to be any kind of "thought leader" and I'm accustomed to being the one asking questions, I was pretty uneasy about the whole experience.
As it turned out, he kindly stuck to subjective questions, such as what's surprised me and what's disappointed me in my two years of covering integration. As I told Linthicum, integration is one of the most difficult topics I've covered, and that includes my time covering planning and zoning issues in Kentucky and Oklahoma. It's not as exciting as IT security-or covering the police in the Twilight Zone-esque Edmond, Oklahoma - but it is always challenging and there are still unexpected twists.